What is ClearCaptions™?
ClearCaptions is a free* captioning service for eligible users and available in three ways:
- For home, using the Clarity® Ensemble™ Phone
- For business, using ClearCaptions for Cisco® in a Cisco Enterprise UCM environment
- For mobile use, on web browsers, smartphones and tablets
ClearCaptions on your phone call is similar to closed captions on your TV. You can hear AND read what's being said, taking the frustration out of using the phone. Instead of wondering what was said or asking people to repeat themselves, you can read the person's conversation during the call on your screen.
Who can use ClearCaptions?
Anyone who has problems with hearing on a standard telephone for any reason is qualified to use ClearCaptions (examples: injury, age, illness, etc.).
Can I place a 911 call through ClearCaptions?
Yes, but ClearCaptions strongly advises you to dial 911 directly using a landline phone (like Ensemble) or mobile telephone rather than through the ClearCaptions web or wireless app. Dialing 911 from the standard telephone network remains the most reliable and fastest method of reaching emergency response personnel.
When you place your emergency call through the ClearCaptions web or wireless app, it will be put ahead of other callers using the Service and your call will be routed to a Public Service Answering Point (PSAP). Upon connection, the PSAP will ask for your name and the location of the emergency. The PSAP will see the number from which you are calling but the PSAP will not be able to see your location information. You should be ready to provide them with that information. They also may inquire for your call-back number to re-connect with you should your connection be lost. To receive a call back through the ClearCaptions Caption center, tell the PSAP they can call you back at 855-281-8700, at prompt dial your phone number, and press pound (#). Your phone number must be included in your ClearCaptions User Profile for the call to ring at your location. When they call you back through the ClearCaptions Captioning Center, the ClearCaptions service will prompt you, and when you accept the call, the phone at the number you entered in your ClearCaptions User Profile will ring. When you answer it, captions for that call will display in the captioning window.
How much does it cost?
ClearCaptions is free for qualified users (see above); however, effective September 30, 2013, the FCC requires new telephone captioning users to pay a one-time FCC Access Fee or purchase an Ensemble phone to enable the service. Once you’ve enabled ClearCaptions, you can use it as much as you want for free. Learn more about the FCC Access Fee.
Are there other costs for ClearCaptions like monthly charges or per-call fees?
Other than the one-time FCC Access Fee, no.
Are there long distance charges to use ClearCaptions?
Why is ClearCaptions free?
ClearCaptions was designed to provide people who have hearing loss with access to the nation's phone system. Federal Communication Commission (FCC) rules allow ClearCaptions to offer this service to you for free. You can read more about this type of captioning service on the FCC's website.
Can I use ClearCaptions on my cell phone?
Yes. ClearCaptions is available for Android™ phones and tablets, and iPhone®, iPad®, and iPod® touch. You can download the free app from Google Play or the App Store. Once you’re registered and ClearCaptions is enabled, to see your captions and hear your call at the same time on your iPhone or Android, your phone must have both a voice and data plan, and support simultaneous voice and data transmission, or have a Wi-Fi connection.
Can I use ClearCaptions on my work or other phone?
Yes. If your organization uses Cisco® phones, the best way to use ClearCaptions at work is ClearCaptions for Cisco, which enables you to use your standard Cisco desk phone for both phone calls and captioning services.
If you don't have Cisco phones, you can use ClearCaptions on the web. You'll need an Internet connection and a computer near the phone to see your captions. If you don't have a PC, you can view your captions on an Internet-connected Android device, iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.
Note that many companies have firewall software installed that may conflict with the ClearCaptions website. For firewall information contact ClearCaptions Support at 866-868-8695 or email@example.com.
What do I need to use ClearCaptions?
Where ever you use ClearCaptions, you’ll need to register and enable the ClearCaptions service before you can begin using it.
If you use ClearCaptions on Ensemble, you'll need an Ensemble phone, a phone line and an Internet connection. Your service is enabled as soon as you register your Ensemble, PLUS you will automatically have access to ClearCaptions on the web. You can also use the service when you download the free ClearCaptions App for your wireless phone or tablet.
Your IT department can check to see if your Cisco phone installation is compatible with ClearCaptions for Cisco. If you use ClearCaptions for Cisco, your company will pay the one-time FCC Access Fee on your behalf, and enable ClearCaptions on your Cisco Phone.
If you use ClearCaptions on the web or a wireless device and do not have an Ensemble, you will need to register at ClearCaptions.com, and pay a one-time FCC Access Fee, to enable and use the service.
Once you’ve enabled ClearCaptions, all you need to use captions is a telephone, an Internet connection and a computer. If you don't have a computer, you can download the free ClearCaptions app for your device, and use an iPod touch, iPad, iPhone or Android. To see your captions and hear your call at the same time on your iPhone or Android, your phone must have both a voice and data plan, and support simultaneous voice and data transmission, or have a Wi-Fi connection.
Do I need a special phone to use ClearCaptions?
No. You can use the phone you have. Once you’ve registered and paid your one-time FCC Access Fee, Simply sign into our web site or app, and start your call.
If your phone is near your computer, you'll want to display your captions on that computer's monitor. If you have a cordless phone you use at home, or a phone that's not near a computer, start your call from the ClearCaptions app on your Android device, iPad or iPod touch. To see your captions and hear your call at the same time on your iPhone or Android, your phone must have both a voice and data plan, and support simultaneous voice and data transmission, or have a Wi-Fi connection. For more information on how to download ClearCaptions for your iPad, iPod touch, iPhone or Android, please go to http://www.clearcaptions.com/.
What is the FCC Access Fee?
Effective September 30, 2013, the FCC requires anyone who uses telephone captioning to either purchase a captioning telephone, such as an Ensemble, or pay a one-time Access Fee to use the service on the web or through a wireless device.
Why do I need to sign up?
The FCC requires that anyone who uses ClearCaptions be registered with the ClearCaptions service. ClearCaptions is part of a suite of Telecommunications Relay Services funded and regulated via the FCC. The FCC requires all Relay users to register and self-certify that they are eligible to use the service.
Is my conversation private with ClearCaptions?
Absolutely. Unequivocally. Without question. Yes. ClearCaptions is a FCC-regulated caption provider with strict obligations for confidentiality with all of our customers.
What happens when someone dials the ClearCaptions Captioning Center?
You will be prompted on your computer or cell phone, and asked whether you'd like to accept the call. When you accept the call, the phone at the number you entered in your ClearCaptions User Profile will ring. Answer it, and the captions will display on the device where you accepted that call.
Will people who call me through the ClearCaptions Captioning Center know that I am using ClearCaptions?
No. Callers are simply prompted to enter your phone number (the phone number in your ClearCaptions account profile). Once they enter that number, and you accept their call, they will be connected to you and they will not know that the call is being captioned.
What if I decline the call?
The user will be notified that you are temporarily unavailable and prompted to try again later.
What is "Facebook Connect"?
When you sign up for ClearCaptions, you can choose to sign in with your Facebook username and password instead of creating a new username and password. Click "Facebook Connect" on our home page and you'll automatically sign in without having to enter a username or password.
Does ClearCaptions change any of the other services I have on my phone, like caller ID or call waiting?
No. ClearCaptions has no impact on these services.
I created a ClearCaptions account, but now I want to sign in using Facebook. How do I do that?
Go to http://www.clearcaptions.com/, click "f Connect" at the top of the page or "Sign In" then click "Connect with Facebook."
How do I change my ClearCaptions password or other account information?
Go to http://www.clearcaptions.com/ and sign in. Click the "Profile" icon located at the top of the page and enter any changes.
I forgot my password. Now what?
Go to http://www.clearcaptions.com/, click "Sign in" and then "Forgot your password?" Follow the instructions. (Tip: "Connect with Facebook" when you sign in. This allows you to sign in using your Facebook username and password, making it more convenient for you.)
Can the person I'm calling read or hear the captioning?
No. No communication occurs between ClearCaptions and the person you are calling. In fact, the other person won't even know you are using captioning unless YOU tell them!
How do I contact ClearCaptions?
Customer Care is open 9 a.m.to 9 p.m. ET Monday through Friday. For questions or support, please call 866-868-8695 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.